Conference - Italian Identities - Dialects, Minorities, Literatures


Location: Notre Dame Conference Center - McKenna Hall

Italian Studies at Notre Dame announces the “giornata di studi” Italian Identities: Dialects, Minorities, Literatures. This one-day conference will investigate the connections between the modern anthropological and sociological context of Italy and the use of dialects. The conference will focus in particular on how literature has responded to both the ever-present issue of the uneven economic development and the crisis of the so-called Italian identity in the last thirty years.  In order to achieve its goals, our one-day symposium will be divided in three main panels, each one dedicated to exploring the topic from a specific – linguistic, socio-anthropological and more purely literary – perspective.

For the complete conference schedule, visit For more information, contact Damiano Benvegnù (

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Italian Studies at Notre Dame, the Ph.D. in Literature Program, and the Devers Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame.


9:00 am – 10:30 am
Opening Lecture: Franco Brevini (University of Bergamo, Italy): Italian Literature, or the Literature of Italians: that is the Question
Chair: Joseph Francese (MSU)

10:30 am – 10:45 am
Coffee break

10:45 am – 12:15 am
LINGUISTIC FOCUS: Dialects & Orality
Edward Tuttle (UCLA): Dialect Diversity and Diverse Dialects: a Brief Typology of Language Variety in Italy.
Luisa Del Giudice (Independent Scholar): Orality, Migration, and Memory
Chair: Theodore Cachey (ND)

12:15 pm – 2:00pm

2:00 pm – 3:30pm
SOCIO-ANTHROPOLOGICAL FOCUS: Migrations and Minority Languages
Maurizio Albahari (ND): Traditions of Dialects and Dialogues
Giuseppe Marci (University of Cagliari, Italy): Alla ricerca dell’autonomia politica: lingua e letteratura come strumento per l’affermazione di una minoranza
Chair: Joseph Buttigieg (ND)

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm
Coffee Break

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
LITERARY FOCUS: Dialect poetry and multilingual prose
Luigi Bonaffini (CUNY): Translating Dialect Literature
Gigliola Sulis (University of Leeds, UK): Dialects and multilingual fiction. Literary trends and critical perceptions in contemporary Italy (1980s-2010s).
Chair: John Welle (ND)

5:15pm – 7:30pm

7:30pm – 9:00pm
Closing lecture: Gian Mario Villalta (Indipendent Scholar and Italian poet): Migrazioni linguistiche e tradizione poetica dialettale
Final discussion and conclusion – Chair: Joseph Francese (MSU)